Blue Note Records is releasing a full, expansive edition of jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan’s historic live album Live at the Lighthouse.
It’s the first time that all 12 sets of music the Lee Morgan Quintet recorded during their landmark engagement in Hermosa Beach, Calif., in the summer of 1970 have been presented in one collection.
The quintet featured saxophonist Bennie Maupin, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Jymie Merritt and drummer Mickey Roker.
“Right from the beginning, we developed such a heart-to-heart connection with each other,” says Maupin. “I think that’s really reflected in what we did. It was just about being in the moment and capturing the moment, and we did that.”
“In a sense, it is holy music,” adds Merritt. “And that was the thing I felt throughout the performances at The Lighthouse. This was totally uncompromised music in terms of the way it went down.”
Live at the Lighthouse was originally released 50 years ago as a double-LP. It was later expanded to a three-CD set in 1996.
Produced by Zev Feldman and David Weiss, The Complete Live at the Lighthouse comes as either an eight-CD boxed set or a 12-LP vinyl collection. It encompasses 33 performances, including more than four hours of previously unreleased music.
The boxed sets also include a booklet full of new interviews with Bennie Maupin and the last lengthy interview with Jymie Merritt before his passing last year; essays by Jeffery McMillan, author or Delightfulee: The Life and Music of Lee Morgan, and Michael Cuscuna; statements from Jack DeJohnette, Wallace Roney, Nicholas Payton, Charles Tolliver, Eddie Henderson, Dave Douglas and others; previously unpublished photos by Joel Franklin and Lee Tanner; and a statement from Morgan’s family.
“Live at the Lighthouse probably gives us the clearest picture of where Lee Morgan was headed and, as such, is a record of monumental importance,” says Blue Note president Don Was.
Ahead of the release, Blue Note has shared a previously unreleased version of Mabern’s composition The Beehive.